Paper pushing – Big Day!

The top of the cover sheet is checked **APPROVED**… Just ONE month after the initial application. My second interview with the Detective went well. I guess I am really a pretty boring person with no “exciting” criminal history and nothing much to hide. Truth is my a Permanent Record is pretty “thin,” he said. I mentioned the speeding ticket and that I wasn’t sure how long ago it occurred – but apparently it was over five years so the overworked DMV dropped me off the hot-sheet.
Other stuff: Being born overseas I always wonder what the question about birthplace triggers – or if it even shows-up on the list (it must), because it always seems to raise a local eyebrow, but The Professional foreheads remain untroubled, with eyes clear as glass – like riding on a sea of botox. So anyhow I had with me my Naturalization and Immigration papers, including some 56-year old Consulate documentation and foreign Hospital pulp-paper — stuff the current President doesn’t even have available in faked-up pseudo .PDF file – and didn’t hear “Boo” about that either. As an International Child of Mystery, I’m disappointed and wonder who’s gate-keeping, but welcome being on the Good-Guys side finally. I think.
My new BFF the Deputy Sheriff checked the gun’ SN#’s listed on the application. I removed the Hogue monogrip on the Model-10 .38spl and put the stock stocks back on, because it hides the SN# that’s stamped onto the bottom of the frame with a stirrup-latch screw-pin holder thing. He was checking the spurious numbers stamped on the crane, and I had to direct his attention to the actual serial-number location.
I thanked him for his work and told him how much we liked living here compared to life among the Foggy BayAryans, and he smiled and said, “We pretty much believe in the Constitution up here…” – or words to that effect. Now for an appointment to pick-up and get the Permit! Woot!!
(Updated to reflect unexpectedness and various commentary)

Schadenfreude-pa-looza! What is best in life? … to hear the lamentation of their women

Loozas! CA (along with Illinois) seems determined to prove to the rest of the USA, that a Democrat One-Party State is UN-sustainable. The lamentations of their women began THIS AFTERNOON when El Presidenté Pro-Tem of the CA Democrats’ Supermajority One-Party State, the flapjaw Darrel Steinberg, called a meeting to defend and deal with the wreckord and wreckage of State Senate corruption, regarding 1.) outspoken anti-gun State Sen. Leland Yee indicted on arms trafficking, corruption charges, Über sleazebag corruptologist 2.) Ron Calderon, the Google face (images) of CA Senate Corruption charges who is up on a long list of Federal bribery and corruption allegations, and including the Senate’s support for convicted California Sen. Rod Wright, who has been found guilty on corruption charges, and now faces more than eight years in jail – but is on paid leave (WHY???) as he prepares to fight felony convictions for perjury and voter fraud…
Also his buddy, former SF School Board President and the city’s highest education official Keith Jackson was accused by the FBI in a murder-for-hire scheme.
The gift that keeps giving…

Update: Weather and Whether-to-Warrior, Pilgrim…

We’re watching the precious liquid drip (and hose) out of a sodden gray sky, surrounded by a thick blanket of clouds…not much to look at really.
Friday I have a CCW appointment at the Sheriff’s office to check the carry pistols on the list (there is a list you have to keep up-to-date). It will be a new world for me to enter into: Carryland – not to be taken lightly, I get to participate in my own defense.

UPDATE: Meanwhile, Miguel has a fantastic post at Gun Free Zone titled “The warrior mystique and its non-application to the average citizen.” regarding the concept of an(y) armed populace and their use of imagery and metaphors including especially “the somewhat “cultish” admiration for the Knight and the Samurai.” Hear-hear and bravo! Re: Musashi’s statement, “Generally speaking the Way of the warrior is resolute acceptance of death.” Miguel says (and I agree, and I think General Patton might also):

I am sorry but I do not “accept” death. I carry a gun and have gone through training and changed my head-in-the-clouds lifestyle because I do not want to be either harmed or killed by a Yakuza burakumin. I do understand that in a confrontation with a criminal, Death can happen to me as I am not perfect, but understanding the consequences and accepting it as fait accompli and making it part of my lifestyle are two very different things. If I were to accept Death, why would I even care to have a gun or prepare myself? The same goes for the Knight who would cheerfully die in battle doing the King’s business according to what they call honor.
… …
So who do Civilians should seek as role model? My very own choice (yours may vary) is the Pioneer/Homesteader: Somebody who wanted to live his life doing his work without interfering with others, but ready to lay down firepower to defend his family and his land from those who wish them harm.

Never start a fight; but always finish it.

Back to the various “Warrior” concepts bandied about; there’s another and different warrior tradition, ALSO from the EAST, a tradition that pre-dates Buddhism and the rock-ribbed tough-guy concepts expressed by Musashi – the Iron-Age era of the Mahābhārata, has a different opinions/conclusions too. Anyhow it works for me because I lived and studied there, and was a defenseless kid too. There’s something of the Arjuna and Krishna/Vishnu war-dialog from the Bhagavad-Gita in there. The great archer Arjuna is a man conflicted, he’s at war with his cousins (like the Hatfields and McCoys might have been) and with a heavy heart he hesitates pauses before shooting. His chariot-driver is (unbeknownst to him) Lord Vishnu, who’s advice he seeks. What he gets is somethign like:

Nothing personal (literally) kid, but in War, for the attainment of Liberation and Enlightenment (Moksha) and in defense of family (you) must stop hesitating and fulfill the/your Kṣatriya-Warrior duty – and kill as necessary. It’s not taken lightly, nor without conscience or guilt – but to hesitate is to fail more than yourself.

Anyhow, it’s a good read and the comments are blessed by some uncommon intelligence too.

Unstable Win 8.1 – Update: Bad Monitor

My Win 8.1 desktop has become increasingly unstable with the screen constantly going black, and then returning, and then shutting off (video) again. Flicker-Flicker-Flicker. Starting ever since the upgrade to Win8.1 when Nvidia sent an automatic download of 3-D drivers and other useless video gadgetry aimed primarily at gamers and tablet users – none of which my box has or does – the “dislocation” has increased as if the machine has been botted.
In fact it won’t even boot unless I un-plug the household wireless router from the satellite modem, leading me to questions I don’t have answers for… And as usual I’m pissed at HP for bundling a bunch of useless marketing gimmickry like the Nvidea Super-Pasteurized Ultra-matic 3-Driver tie-in, AND the dumbass “Dr. Dre Beats” audio self-winding crapola – but mainly because I couldn’t find a plain vanilla machine to do my simpleton world-stuff, with an external Internet safety (off-switch). Time to switch to Linux I guess, but I really need Photoshop and Illustrator, which I don’t believe is very well supported by the alternate-universe OS.
UPDATE: Doh!! My monitor was going bad, some internal switching was acting spastic and throwing seizures and fits, and causing me conniptions. New HP monitor sourced at Costco is awesome, green-glow in the rushes…

Juniper-O Sierra, see-ya!

There were two extensively thick growths of junipers, separated by the “creek” that runs between them. Barely able to walk between them we had the gardeners reduce the density during out first few months. (And soon we will dispense with the expense of the gardeners altogether.) In the gardener-less future She Who Must Blow Leafs will command the high ground with a $10 used the yard-sale leaf-blower from our Winery friends – Thanks James! Not a real big fan of The Green Blowtorch here in the drought-stricken uplands, and with defensible space at a premium we decided to do some hard pruning. And so…we Bomb-sai’d one of the junipers as a test case. Remember Pearl Harbor!
Juniper Scare-O
Now the other one is quaking in its boots. You’re next buddy!
Hey, maybe we can plant some Zinfandel vines here? It’s the one flat-spot of ground where a guy can go-prone… Site of future putting green

Wet-Dry Vac

Wet - Dry
Nature abhors a vacuum, and into place spring all kinds of natural forces – like roots seeking water. So we noticed a seep coming off Station #2 on the drip-line circuit. I think after digging and some investigation this may be revealed as a result of NO GLUE YOU DUMBASS! Meanwhile many small and some large roots were wound tightly around this precious water source, possibly jamming it open further.
So now I gotta fix the T-junction and hopefully not break anything else along the way. But what else am I gonna do? Maybe open a Newcastle Brown Ale and lie in the sun on the deck at Vitamin-D Station Alpha… Yeh, that’s good too!
On the right side of the lower picture you can see the “French Ditch” drainage that winds down the side of the house, with the blue Ace Hardware bucket sitting right in it. Full of mud and rocks. There’s lots of rocks, everywhere. Just rocks held together with a bit of mud.
Better get this done before visitors arrive…hopefully we’ll have visitors anyhow.
Where's the GLUE?
UPDATE: I was correct NO GLUE! So NOW glue. Let it dry and re-build the ditch wall…

OCD Alert!

What's wrong with this picture?Of all the little things that trigger a meltdown, this comes close to a pinnacle event. It’s not just the cheap Home Depot hardware with plastic internals and lousy zinc pot-metal with a 5-year warranty that breaks at year 5.2, it’s also the poor fitment, the sheer carelessness, and the obvious disregard for visual symmetry. Just to get the door to work right I had to tighten knob-screws that were so loose the handle almost fell off inside, but once tightened the whole mechanism seized up and had to be operated with Gorilla Strength™.

So we went to Wayne’s Lock to find something more in keeping with our style – but not so contemporary that it reminded us of a Hospital, Industrial Park, or School. Bucking the latest on-trend directive we got in the Wayback Machine and returned to Antique Brass instead of Brushed Nickle everywhere – like the Bay Area insists upon. Baldwin got the nod on the style-front, and when the order arrived Jeff came out Wednesday with all the bits and parts including a new set of deadbolts for three other doors, all keyed alike.

With the double-doors it was a bit of a struggle, and I had to get out the aircraft shears to cut some sheet-metal shims for the bottom hinge. In the basement I found a piece of leftover duct-hanger tin from the re-arrangement of the AC/heater ducting, and made some marks for the hinge-jamb screw-holes to line-up. The shims closed the gap between the doors so the deadbolt throw was correct. But the hinge was painted-in and had to be whacked a few times with the 20.oz. Eastwing framing hammer to free it up. In the end it’s smoother, more secure, and looks a lot better. Three shims later and *Phew!*  Now I can rest easy without the nightmares…
Yay they match!